Creamy Pan-Roasted Potatoes


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It has been a while since I posted a potato recipe. I still cook  them ( a lot I will say), but since they are often the same, or not presentable for pictures I have not shared them. I thought I would share this recipe I fixed a few days ago. My husband loved them so much that he kept on raving about them ( and almost did not share them with his two children…)

Ingredients for 2-4 people:

  • 1 bag of tiny new yellow potatoes
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp of fresh or dry parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place the potatoes in the colander and run water over them to clean them.
  2. Place the potatoes in the round mold, place the octogonal silpat on top of the round mold and microwave for 5-7 minutes or until they are cooked, but still firm.photo 1
  3. Cut them in half. OR CUT THE POTATOES IN HALF FIRST, THEM MICROWAVE FOR 3-5 MINUTES. 
  4. Place a large frying pan over the stove at medium high temperature and melt the butter. When the butter is melted and is sizzling, add the cut potatoes. photo 2
  5. Cook the potatoes for 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes are roasted to your liking. photo 3
  6. Add the cream, the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cook until the cream is boiling. Season with salt and pepper. photo 4Serve with whatever you are eating. My family had steamed broccoli and kobe steaks.photo 1

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Cook for another 5 minutes unt

Gnocchi with a Garlic, Sun-dried Tomato Sauce


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France just like many countries in the world attract people from all places and nations. Some come to France because they love the French culture and language, some come for education. Some came for the work and business opportunities. If France was attractive for its work opportunities in the past, France is now suffering from a very high unemployment. But in the past many people came. For example people from Eastern Europe migrated in the North of France to work in mines, people from Spain came for manual labour, people from French colonies came to France for education and civil rights, and people from Italy came to France for banking

Over the years, those people assimilated themselves more or less into the French culture, but all of them brought with them a bit of their heritage and cuisine;-)

If in the past restaurants in France only served French cuisine, over the years and decades, the Culinary scenery became much diverse. There are restaurants of all cuisine: Japanese, Moroccan, Greek, Chinese,  Italian.

My parents love good cuisine, but they also liked to try new things so they took us once in a while to various ethnic restaurants to taste different food. I am thankful for that. It had allowed me to learn about other flavors and appreciated other cuisine.

Unfortunately it has also made me more demanding of my meals because I know what is authentic. Because I learned to make fresh pastas and fresh ravioli or gnocchi, it is difficult for me to appreciate anything that is packaged. In fact, until today I had never bought packaged gnocchi because I never liked their consistency – How would I know??? because most restaurants here in the States never serve fresh home-made pasta;-(

But the other day, while shopping at Costo I saw a package of Gnocchi and decided to fix it for my family. They are easy to fix and cook in no time ( easy dinner 😉

Well, I will say that they are pretty good. Of course not as good as home-made ones, but one of the best i have eaten in the past.

This evening I served them with a garlic, sun-dried tomato sauce. It was well appreciated by all.

Ingredients for 4-6:

  • 1 package of gnocchi ( it has 3 pouches in them)
  • 2 cloves of garlic pressed
  • 1/3 cup of sun-dried tomato  ( soft ones. I prefer those marinated in olive oil).
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 bag of about 3 oz of fresh arugula
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar ( optional)
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • fresh shredded parmesan
  • salt
  • pepper

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  1. Fill a large pot with water and add 1 tbsp of salt. Bring this water to boil.
  2. While the water is cooking, prepare the sauce.
  3. In a large frying pan, warm up 1 tsp of olive oil.
  4. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and saute it.
  5. Add the sun dried tomatoes and saute them as well.
  6. Add the arugula and saute them.
  7. Pour the wine, bring the mixture to boil while stirring continuously.
  8. Add 1 tsp of brown sugar.
  9. Add the cream and bring to boil as well.  Scrape the bottom of the pan.
  10. Lower the temperature, but continue cooking the mixture at a medium-high temperature until the sauce is thickening up. It should coat the back of a spoon.
  11. When the sauce is to your liking. Remove it from the stove and keep it warm.
  12. When the water is boiling, add the gnocchi. Cook them for about 5 minutes.
  13. When the gnocchi are cooked, drain them. Add 1 tbsp of butter and stir.
  14. Add the sauce to the gnocchi and mix well.
  15. Spoon the mixture in individual pasta bowl and sprinkle some fresh parmesan. C’est tout 😉

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Cauliflower Cream


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The day before valentine’s I needed to fix dinner and since I had some cauliflower in the fridge I decided to make a cauliflower gratin with bechamel as it is one of my children’s favorite. I had a million of things to do that day so I asked my sweet child to go grocery shopping for me.

To my liking she had bought all I needed ( not like someone else in the house;-), but she had also bought another cauliflower… Two to fix…. That was a bit much…
I guess I could have roasted the cauliflower florets in the oven later on this week but with Valentin’s coming, I decided that a cauliflower cream would be good:-)
And it is easy to make too:-)
Ingredients for about 6-8 servings: 

  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 1 medium white onion , sweet preferably
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1-2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper

 

  1. Cut the cauliflower in small florets.
  2. Place them in the large round mold and place the octogonal silpat.
  3. Cook for 6/8 minutes. It needs to be tender.
  4. Meanwhile warm up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot and when the oil  is warm add the chopped onion.
  5. Stir and cook until it sweats. Then add the cooked cauliflower and cook it also for a few minutes. photo
  6. Add the warm broth, salt, pepper and stir.
  7. Bring the mixture to boil, then lower to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Purée the soup, add the cream and warm it up. Add salt if needed.
  9. Fill up individual bowls and sprinkle celeri seed, or salt on top for added flavor. photo

Bon appetit and happy cooking!!!

Creamed Spinach


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Yesterday evening, I invited my brother-in-law and his family for dinner to exchange Christmas presents. Yes, isn’t it sad that even though we live in the same city, we could not meet until this weekend to meet?!?! But they left before the holidays, and we left out of town for a few days ourselves right after the holidays, therefore we could not meet until yesterday.

For dinner I prepared one of my daughter’s favorite dinner:

  • Cabernet Beef and Veal Meatballs
  • Truffle Mashed Potatoes
  • Creamed Spinach
  • Steamed Brusell Sprouts and
  • Chocolate Eclairs
  • Raspberry Macarons

This evening I will share with you a recipe of creamed spinach ( serves 4-6):

  • 1 box of frozen spinach leaves 
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of heavy cream or skim milk ( if you wish to make it healthier)
  • 1 tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan ( optional)
  • 1/16 tsp. nutmeg
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Place the frozen spinach in the round mold, place the octogonal silpat on top of the round mold, and microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the spinach of the water using the colander and pushing with a spoon to remove as much water as you can. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan and when the butter is sizzling, add the chopped garlic. Saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and saute them quickly ( 1 minute) to dry them up a bit more.
  5. Then add the flour and mix well.
  6. Add the cream, or the milk or the skim milk and bring to boil.
  7. When the mixture comes to boil, lower the temperature to low.
  8. Add the parmesan, 1/16 tsp of pepper, 1/16 to 1/8 tsp of nutmeg and mix well.
  9. Cook for a few minutes. Add salt if necessary.

Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

A quick Lunch fix: Smoked Ham, Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese


When I came home this past Tuesday during my lunch break, my whole family greeted with warmth but said: ” Cecile, can you please take us to the store, there is nothing to eat…” “Nothing to eat???, what do you mean, there is nothing to eat.”: I replied, and as I answered I went to see what i could find in my fridge to fix lunch.

I found a ton a things: cucumber, tomatoes, ham, cheese, and plenty more. So much so, in fact, that for lunch, we had cucumber salad, tomato caprese, quiche, lamb, grilled sausages and pasta.

Quiche is one of those wonderful things that you can fix quickly and use whatever you have in your fridge so long as you have cheese.

Ingredients: 1 pie crust ( pre-made), 5 eggs, 1 1/2 cup of heavy cream or milk ( if you use 2% milk, or non fat, you will need to add another egg because of the water content), 1 cup of shredded parmesan, 1 cup of sharp cheddar, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper.

Place the pie crust in the pie mold, and prick the bottom with the fork. Cut the ham in small strips and disperse them all over the pie, do the same with both cheese.

In a bowl, crack all 5 eggs, add 1 1/2 cream ( or other milk product you are using), the salt, the pepper and mix well. Pour the mixture over the ham and cheese. Place in the oven and cook at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until the center of the quiche is no longer wobbly.

Et voila,

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Orange Brownie and Sabayon


I love citrus, and i love chocolate so when i saw this recipe in a French cookbook called En Deux Coups de Cuilleres de Frederic Berque, I could not flip the page to the next one. I had to try!!!

The combination of orange, chocolate and sabayon is simply luscious. The brownie is so moist, it is hard to not go for second. I hope you will give it a try;-)

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes size: 3 eggs at room temperature, 2/3 cup of granulated sugar, 1/3 cup and 2 tbsp of brown sugar, 1 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, 3/4 cup and 2 tbsp of bittersweet chocolate chip ( i prefer ghiradhelli), 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 1/3 cup and 2 tbsp of flour, zest of an orange.

Turn the oven to 350. In a mixer, place the eggs and both sugar and beat the mixture until it becomes a pale yellow and doubles in volume. Meanwhile, place the butter and the chocolate and melt it both in the microwave for 90 sec. Remove the chocolate from the microwave oven and stir to blend the butter into the chocolate.  Pour the chocolate mixture into the eggs and mix. Add the cream, then sift in the flour while mixing. Finally add the orange zest, and stir. Empty the content of the batter into a ziploc bag to easily pour the batter into the cupcake molds and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the sides of the brownies look dry. The center should still be soft and a bit gooey.

You can use a variety of molds. I used the brioche mold. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes

While the brownies are baking, prepare the orange sabayon:

Orange sabayon: 2/3 of fresh orange juice ( I squeezed the orange that i used above and added some more orange juice), 2 tbsp of orange liquor such as Cointreau, 2 tbsp of granulated sugar, 2 yolks.

Place the orange juice, the liquor and the sugar in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to boil. In another bowl, beat the yolks. Pour the hot orange mixture over the yolks stirring vigorously. Place the mixture back on the stove at medium high temperature and cook until it is almost boiling. Beat very hard so that the mixture will thicken and foam up.

You may serve the dessert warm. Pour some of the sabayon in a small plate and place a brownie in the middle. You may also eat it cold. It is really up to you. Both is great!!! To decorate, zest some of the orange peel and place it as decoration on top of the brownie.

You will need to eat the sabayon the same day that you made it, or it will drop and it will no longer be thick or foamy. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Grown-Up Chicken a la Creme


The recipe of the cream chicken is really good and like my children, it used to be my favorite growing up. But as I took a bite I also thought it could taste better with the addition of a few other ingredients such as red bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes…..So here it is;-)

Ingredients for 4: 12-16 chicken tenderloins, 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 whole bell pepper roasted and peeled and sliced in very small strips, 2 tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes ( kept in olive oil), 1 tbsp of fresh chopped basil, 1 cup of fresh spinach, salt and pepper.

In a large frying pan, melt the butter and when the butter is sizzling, add the chicken. Saute the chicken for a few minutes on each side ( 1-2 minutes). Season with salt and pepper ( 1/8 tsp of salt, 1/16 tsp of pepper) and remove the chicken from the pan. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and the bell pepper and saute them on a medium heat. Add the cream, and the spinach and bring to boil. Add salt ( 1/8 tsp) and pepper ( 1/16) and stir well. Add the chicken for a few minutes, just enough to cook the chicken through. To serve the chicken, place the tenderloins on the plate and spoon a bit of the sauce over the chicken. Eat with rice or pasta. C’est tout!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!